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Kartacze Recipe – Polish Potato Dumplings With Meat

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Kartacze recipe with potatoes, bacon, and chives on a plate.

The kartacze recipe for traditional Polish meat-filled potato dumplings, although time-consuming is fairly easy to make and tastes delicious. Here’s how to make the Polish potato dumplings at home!

All About The Polish Potato Dumplings With Meat

The Polish recipe for kartacze is borrowed from Lithuanian cuisine. That’s why kartacze are popular in the northeastern Poland region that borders with Lithuania. Similar to pyzy, these huge Polish dumplings are made with potato dough. 

The other common name for the Polish kartacze is cepeliny (zeppelin). Why? Because of the shape that the potato dumplings take. 

Traditionally made 10 to 20 cm long, they are most-often shaped to look like elongated footballs or the Zeppelin airships from the late 19th century. Their older name was simply didžkukuliai or kartacze, but they were soon named after the airships.

Did you know that the Cepelinai are the national dish of Lithuania?

Kartacze have also been added to the list of traditional products by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Poland. 

What Is The Difference Between Kartacze And Pyzy Z Mięsem?

Kartacze and ​pyzy z mięsem are very similar dishes with a few minor differences. 

  • Kartacze are big and oval-shaped, while pyzy z mięsem are round and small
  • The ingredients for both these Polish dishes are pretty much the same. However, you use raw meat to prepare kartacze’s filling, while the meat for pyzy z mięsem’s filling is cooked first

How To Make Polish Kartacze Dumplings?

How To Make The Filling For Kartacze?

Dice an onion and carmelize it with clarified butter.

Crush a garlic clove and mix with the ingredients for the filling till it forms a smooth paste. Divide this into 6 pieces and form oval-shaped balls from each piece.

How To Make The Dough For Kartacze?

Peel and cook 3 potatoes, and grate 9 others fine. Grate an onion and mix with salt and potatoes. Allow to drain using a thin kitchen cloth, muslin cloth, or gauze.

Mash the cooked potatoes till smooth and mix with the drained potatoes and sour cream/mascarpone.

Once it’s ready, divide the dough into 6 pieces and set it aside.

Mashed potato and grated potato.
Mashed potato, grated potato, and sour cream
Mashed potato mixture.
Mashed potato mix draining!

How To Form Kartacze?

Flatten a piece of dough in the palm of your hand and place a piece of filling in the center of each.

Fold the dough around the filling and seal it properly. make sure it is football-shaped. Coat each kartacze with potato starch.

Form the kartacze into oval shapes.
Form the kartacze into oval shapes

How To Cook The Kartacze Dumplings?

Cook the kartacze in a pot of boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes till ready. Stir frequently so they don’t stick to the bottom. Use a slotted spoon to take out kartacze. Serve with fried onion or bacon.

Kartacze potato dumplings
Kartacze potato dumplings.
Kartacze potato dumplings

Tips For Making The Best Polish Meat-filled Potato Dumplings

  • It is important that the ratio of cooked potatoes to raw potatoes in the dough is 1:3
  • .
  • Top with fried onions and crispy bacon bits. 
  • You can add sauerkraut to the dumpling filling for a tangier taste. 
  • Fry the leftover kartacze with breadcrumbs and butter or lard if you want them crunchy then next day. 
  • Add more onion to the filling if you want the dumplings sweeter. 
  • Top with sour cream and chopped chives or parsley before serving! 
Polish potato dumplings covered with onion and bacon.
Tip: Top the Polish potato dumplings with onion and bacon

Kartacze Recipe: Frequently Asked Questions

Which Potatoes Should I Use To Make Polish Potato Dumplings With Meat?

It’s best to use starchy potatoes (Russet, Idaho, Yukon gold potatoes) for making kartacze.

Which Minced Meat Should I Use To Make Kartacze?

You can use any minced meat of your choice to make kartacze, but the best-minced meat to use is meat with a higher concentration of fat, such as pork.

Is It Possible To Make Kartacze Vegetarian?

Yes, to make the kartacze vegetarian, replace the minced meat filling with sauerkraut and cottage cheese. 

Can Kartacze Be Frozen?

Yes, you can freeze kartacze but you need to cook them first. Do not freeze the uncooked kartacze. Add cooked kartacze to a dish with layers of melted butter in between. It can be stored in the freezer for 3 to 4 months. Thaw and reheat before serving. 

Kartacze Recipe

Yield: 6

Kartacze Recipe

Kartacze recipe with potatoes, bacon, and chives on a plate.

This kartacze recipe for traditional Polish meat-filled potato dumplings is fairly easy to make at home and tastes delicious!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes



  • 12 potatoes (all the same size)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of sour cream/ mascarpone cheese
  • potato starch


  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp of clarified butter or oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 9 oz (250g) of minced meat
  • 1 tbsp of dried marjoram


  • Gauze or thin kitchen cloth
  • Potato starch
  • Fried onion or bacon to serve


How To Make The Filling For Kartacze?

  1. Peel and dice an onion.
  2. Carmelize it in clarified butter or oil.
  3. Peel and crush a garlic clove.
  4. Mix all the ingredients for the filling together until you get a smooth consistency.
  5. Divide the filling into 6 pieces and form an oval-shaped ball from each of the pieces.

How To Make The Dough For Kartacze?

  1. Peel all the potatoes.
  2. Cook 3 potatoes.
  3. Finely grate the other 9 potatoes.
  4. Peel and grate an onion.
  5. Mix the grated potatoes with onion and 1 tbsp of salt.
  6. Place the mixture on a drainer lined with gauze or thin kitchen cloth Mashed potato mixture..
  7. Using gauze, squeeze the juice out of the potato mixture. Make sure it's completely dry.
  8. Mash the cooked potatoes until completely smooth. Cool off.
  9. Mix cold mashed potatoes with squeezed-out potatoes and sour cream/mascarpone. Mashed potato and grated potato.
  10. Mix until the dough is ready. Don't do it for too long otherwise, the dough will be too wet.
  11. If the dough seems to be too sticky, add some potato starch.
  12. Divide the dough into 6 pieces.

How To Form Kartacze?

  1. Take one piece of the dough and pat it flat in the palm of the hand.
  2. Place one piece of the filing in the center of the dough.
  3. Fold the dough around the meat, making sure the seal is continuous and intact. Kartacze should have the shape of the football ball. Form the kartacze into oval shapes.
  4. Coat each kartacze with potato starch.

How To Cook Kartacze?

  1. Mix 1 tbsps of potato starch with 1 cup of cold water.
  2. Pour 1 gal of cold water into a big pot. Add 1 tbsp of salt and bring to boil.
  3. When the water is boiling, pour the potato starch mixture into it, stirring all the time.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, put kartacze into the boiling water, one by one. Do it carefully.
  5. When all kartacze are in the water, lift up the pot and move it right to left and back. That way you will make sure kartacze won't stick to the bottom of the pot.
  6. Cook slowly for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Take out kartacze using a slotted spoon. Serve with fried onion or bacon.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 565Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 1372mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 8gSugar: 6gProtein: 23g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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